St. Louis Lambert Airport Wingtips Lounge review

St. Louis Lambert International Airport now has a new common use lounge for travelers to use. The Wingtips Lounge is located in Terminal 2 of the airport. Though this lounge has been open since mid-January its impossible for me to visit it unless I flew on a Southwest flight. I don’t often fly Southwest as much as I do on American or Delta, but when I had a conference in San Francisco I booked a flight on Southwest non-stop, so therefore I could check out the new Wingtips Lounge. Here is a quick background of Wingtips, they are owned by a local St. Louis company Airport Terminal Services (ATS). They also operate another Wingtips Lounge at New York’s JFK Airport, and when the space became open at Lambert, ATS quickly jumped on the opportunity to bring a common use lounge to its hometown. I frequent the American Admirals Club at Lambert, but I find it lacking in so many aspects, which I will not list here. I always yearned better lounge experience in my hometown. I’ve used many airport lounges at many airports all over the world, but having a lounge that isn’t tied to one airline is often good. Many airports abroad have common use lounges and so do some domestic airports such ATL and MIA with The Club and AMEX’s Centurion Lounge, respectively.

With my Southwest flight being at 1:50pm, I made sure I arrived extra early, not just for checking in for the flight and clearing security, but it’d also give me more time to spend at the Wingtips Lounge. As I entered I am greeted by the welcoming staff.

As you would expect with a lounge there is complementary beverages and food. Both cold and hot food would be available from the buffet space, but the day I was there it was just brownies, fruits and pretzels, but the friendly servers will give you a menu to order from. On busier days a wider selection at the buffet i.e. Thursdays and Fridays, my flight was on a Tuesday, would be available. I ordered from the food menu on the table. Items ordered from the menu are made to order and you can order as much food as you want, if you are hungry enough! I ordered the chicken artichoke ciabatta with a cup of fruit. I also ordered the soup of the day, which on the day of visit was beef vegetable stew. There is also a wide selection of beverages available. You can order beer, wine, and spirits from the bartender. Note that premium alcoholic beverages will cost extra. Wingtips wanted to add some local touches when it created its STL lounge, you’ll see local favorites like Kaldi Coffee and Firepot Tea available. There is also a Franke espresso machine for brewing lattes, cappuccinos, and other espresso drinks, and a Coke Freestyle machine for those who want to drink soft drinks instead of beer or coffee.

The Wingtips lounge provides users a variety of seating options with private booths, restaurant styling seating, bar stools, and leather chairs. The interior is very inviting with a mix of modern and retro with an array of bright colors and lights giving it premium feel. Definitely, better than Lambert’s American Admirals Club at T1, which is damp and dark, but you can’t really compare this like apples to oranges, so I will stop there. Power outlets (between chairs and walls) are abundant since this day and age many travelers need to stay connected. The complementary WiFi works well too. For those corporate travelers wanting to do conferences there is a 10 seat meeting room available, though reservations need to be made prior to use. The lounge is quiet from the hustle and bustle in the terminal, though you can still hear the announcements outside in the concourse through the walls. However, that didn’t distract me from the relaxing oasis feel prior to the flight.

Prior to my visit to Wingtips, I had arranged to meet with a rep from Airport Terminal Services the day I visited the lounge. ATS sent their VP of sales and business development, Ingrid Braeuninger to meet me. She was able to tell me the history and idea of the lounge coming to Lambert and walk me through the lounge. Again, Wingtips put quite a bit of emphasis on giving the lounge a local touch with Kaldi Coffee and Firepot teas, more local flare will be added in the future. Wingtips hopes/planning to offer checked in Terminal 1 passengers a chauffeur service to go to Terminal 2 to use the lounge, however, if Lambert finally decides to re-open the Concourse D corridor then there would be no need for that, but that is one thing ATS is working on making happen for T1 travelers.

One gripe about the STL Wingtips Lounge is that it does not accept Priority Pass (It gives access to hundreds of airport lounges all over the world) or the American Express Platinum cards to enter for free. Apparently, Priority Pass think its a competitor to another lounge, yet there is no other lounge in STL aside from the Admirals Club, but they don’t accept Priority Pass to enter. Wingtips’ JFK lounge does accept Priority Pass for access. The one day pass costs $38, however Priority Pass members get a discounted rate of $28. This is worth it when you consider some airport lounges costs upwards of $50 just for a one day pass. In my opinion, this is a bargain when compared to paying for overpriced food at the airport from fast food and sit-down chains and having to avoid with the crowds and noise in the terminal.

With passenger numbers increasing at Lambert and the upcoming May inaugural WOW Air flight to Iceland (Lambert’s first international carrier in over a decade) and the continuing expansion if Southwest, there are a lot of good things to come for the Lambert.

Whenever I am flying out of T2 I am definitely heading Wingtips to unwind and relax before boarding the flight.

UPDATE: The Wingtips Lounge now welcomes Priority Pass members to the lounge just by showing their membership.

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